In a setback to the Indian cricket team, in-form Sachin Tendulkar was on Tuesday ruled out of the fourth one-dayer against New Zealand due to an abdomen injury but the premier batsman has promised to play the fifth and final match.
Tendulkar had suffered a painful blow from Blackcaps fast bowler Iain O'Brien during the second ODI at Wellington.
Despite stiffness in the abdomen region, he played the third game and aggravated the injury while scoring a magnificent century, his 43rd in limited overs cricket.
An MRI done on Monday at a hospital in Christchurch revealed that there had been traces of internal bleeding, ruling him out of Wednesday's match in Hamilton.
"The report has indicated there has been internal bleeding in the stomach. But I should be ready to play in the next couple of days," said Tendulkar.
"It is painful that I have to miss a game when there has been good momentum. I have been hitting the ball well."
The master batsman will sorely miss on-field action as he has been in prime from, strumming up scores of 20, 61 and 163 retired hurt for an aggregate of 244 runs.
In 20 years of international cricket, this is possibly the first instance that the Mumbaikar has suffered internal bleeding to a blow with a cricket ball. Tendulkar's chest had been peppered with bouncers in the Caribbean. But despite suffering clots on the rib-cage, he had braved to take on Mervyn Dillon's artillery in the 2002 series against the West Indies.
His ankle, elbow, back, foot and little finger have troubled him one time or the other during his illustrious career.
But this is the only instance when internal bleeding has stopped him from playing, frustratingly when he has been producing delectable symphonies at the crease.
"I would not know if this has been the worst. But it has caused me discomfort. The abs are really stiff," he said.
Only a braveheart, or one so committed as he is, could have played an innings of such calibre and intensity with the enormity of injury he was carrying.
"It got very difficult as the innings wore on. At one stage, I felt a twitch. It would have been great to go on and complete a double hundred, which was on my mind, but the body could not take it any more," said Tendulkar.
It is learnt that the team wanted him to go continue and score a double hundred. In fact, he had been offered a runner as well. But Tendulkar had put team before self, deeming it would benefit the side if he retired.
The team management felt that it is better he rests as the Test matches where around the corner.
Even if he misses the fifth ODI at Auckland, the master batsman will be tready and kicking for the first test at Hamilton on March 18.